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THE QUESTION: What's your go-to tipple for Christmas Eve?

THE ANSWER: Don't take it from me. Take it from the man who'll be working harder than you on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus. Big Red's survival secret? Sherry. I know this because I've shared some with him. Not at the same time, mind you, but we've sipped from the same glass. I leave it on the mantel full. In the morning, it's always half empty, a symbolic wink from him to me. I finish the rest the next day when I need my own delicious bracer to maintain sanity and stamina. I love sherry. A retro drink, it harkens back to more innocent holidays past. There's a delicious, slightly sweet one called Alvear Amontillado, available for about $15 in several provinces. But brand doesn't matter much; they're all good. I enjoy a pour before Santa gets here, too. It's the perfect bracer to take the edge off the madness - or loneliness - of Christmas Eve.

Beppi Crosariol is the Globe and Mail's wine columnist.

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